Being in business for almost a century ensures that there will be many wonderful stories that have occurred over the decades. Todd Paffrath, owner of Paffrath and Son Jewelers in Willmar, MN does not take that for granted. When Todd’s grandfather Rudy brought his young wife to Willmar in 1926, it’s hard to determine whether he believed his firm would still be operating today. Many customers who bought from Todd’s dad and grandfather still stop in to this day to reminisce about them and their experiences with the store and its staff. Rudy, his son Lowell, Todd, and his son Jeff have all dedicated their lives to serving the West Central Minnesota area, and all have great stories to tell.
The story of Paffrath and Son Jewelers begins with Rudy. Todd shares that he never had the privilege of meeting his grandfather who passed away at a young age, however, he has heard many tales. It seems all of those who did know him thought highly of him and respected him as a man who called things the way he saw them. He started his business selling jewelry, as well as dinner and silverware as most jewelry stores did at the time. Rudy had three children, the eldest being Todd’s father Lowell. Lowell attended school at Ohio State where he met the girl who would become his wife. Later, he transferred to the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with a degree in business. During his schooling, he would use his experience in the family business to sell engagement rings to fellow students to make ends meet.
Lowell returned to Willmar and joined the family business full-time. It was his idea to create the “diamond room” which offered customers a level of privacy, and also a nicer showplace for the diamonds which was successful and still in place today. He moved away from the dinner and silverware, focusing strictly on fine jewelry. He also oversaw the move of the store from downtown Willmar into the mall. Todd also joined the family business and began to take a larger role in the operation of the business. Sadly, Lowell also passed away at age 63 but left a grand legacy for his children and grandchildren. Jeff, who is the fourth generation to work in the business is also the onsite jeweler and goldsmith, adding a new level of service to the clients for repairs and custom work.
Todd shares a story of a past customer of his father’s who was a truck driver. This driver happened across a mink in the road. He stopped, captured the mink, sold the hide, and used the money for the down payment on his sweetheart’s engagement ring at Paffrath. There are countless stories just like that one that has become a legend. As the business continues to thrive, the team expects that many new stories will arise.
Since 1926, Paffrath and Son Jewelers have been a staple serving Willmar and the surrounding area. Their team possesses extensive experience and is sure to help you find that perfect piece for you or your loved one. Our on-site jeweler can provide repairs and custom-designed jewelry without having to send your precious jewelry out of the store. You can rest easy knowing that the person working on your ring is available to you whenever you need. Our clients are treated like family, just as they have been for over nine decades. We invite you to visit our store and see for yourself the difference that has allowed us to serve you, and we will continue to serve the next generations, just as we have served the last ones. Find us at Uptown Willmar (formally the Kandi Mall), we look forward to serving you.